Wayfaring Stranger

Cathédrale de Bayeux · 11 Sep 2005, 10:41 pm · Keep it

Une belle photo panoramique de la Cathédrale de Bayeux. Par Ossiane à L’Œil ouverte. Il faut avoir installé Quicktime pour la voir.

Giorg Omotescu · 8 Aug 2005, 10:53 pm

Generate anagrams and pseudonyms. From your name, from famous phrases. Dena Tresserec recommends it. From Jaron Vinsee at Technologies du langage. Don’t worry, it works in English too! Just tell ’em Alcofribas Nasier sent you.

Life under the microscope · 14 Jul 2005, 9:00 am · Keep it

Droplet, a website devoted to microscopic images of protozoa.

Striking photographs of a variety of tiny creatures, arranged by taxa. At the right is Vorticella, a “sessile, peritrich ciliate”, at 25x. Includes links to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System, a database of information on biological taxa with a nice search engine of other biological databases. Via Ramage’s Marginalia.

Snaps of Blue Velvet · 14 Jul 2005, 12:28 am · Keep it

Square America has snapshots from the 50s through the 70s. Some are ordinary. A few have a touch of the uncanny. Strange to think that the decor of the earlier shots is what I saw all the time when I was growing up. Now I know what it’s like to be campy, quaint, and picturesque. See also the Boat Lullabies. Via Ramage.

Human subjects · 13 Jul 2005, 6:07 pm · Keep it

Seriously strange glamor shots at Becky Carter Photography (see the “color samples”). I hope none of them actually looks like their picture. If I saw one I’d run, certain that the aliens had arrived. Via What do I know.

The color formerly known as red · 28 Jun 2005, 9:15 am · Keep it

Perhaps ‘red’ came to have unwanted connotations? Or is “red” a technical term amongst gardeners?
HOLLYHOCK, 1936 (first sold 1950)
Small but stunning ‘Hollyhock’ is an almost unbelievably deep, deep rose, or “red” as it was known in the 1800s.
Source: “Heirloom Hyacinth Bulbs” (p. 2) at Old House Gardens (scroll down).

Flow, mighty bitstream, flow! · 26 Jun 2005, 3:57 pm · Keep it

The Internet Traffic report exhibits the relative flow of data around the world. Reload to update.
The Internet Traffic Report monitors the flow of data around the world. It then displays a value between zero and 100. Higher values indicate faster and more reliable connections.

This is a weblog entry that is indeterminate in its performance · 26 Jun 2005, 12:06 am · Keep it

One-minute stories from John Cage. They are “one minute” because Cage would space out or squeeze the words so as to make them last exactly one minute in the reading. See Indeterminacy.

Widget Test · 21 Jun 2005, 2:58 pm · Keep it

Testing a Dashboard widget for posting to LJ.
It works. zlj from Dmitry Kirillov.

Watching texts grow · 23 May 2005, 12:15 pm · Keep it

At Technologies du langage, a note on History Flow, a system for visualizing changes in texts over time. The examples are taken from the English Wikipedia. Here is a detail from the history of “Capitalism”:
Source: IBM Collaborative
User Experience Research Group
(detail; see the Gallery)
As Jean Véronis, the author of Technologies, notes in another post (“La mort des brouillons”), one casualty of the use of computers for writing is the brouillon or draft. For historians, drafts are an invaluable resource in understanding the process of composition, the use of sources, and (in the case of works edited by several authors) the role of collaboration (in the Waste Land, for example, which underwent heavy revisions at the suggestion of Pound). (See the permanent online exposition Brouillons d’écrivains at the Bibliothèque Nationale, from which Véronis reproduces several images.)
Wikipedia and its kin preserve every state of a document, and allow readers to examine the differences among them. Imagine, Véronis says, that we had all the drafts of Diderot and D’Alembert’s Encyclopédie or the Encyclopédie méthodique of Pancoucke, the largest project ever produced by French publishers to that point (a prospectus of 1800 envisioned 199 volumes; at least 210 were actually published).
Whether more data, or even striking pictures, will yield better theories of the production of texts I don’t know. In the meantime there is at least an anecdotal pleasure in contemplating the expansion of “Capitalism” and the gentle flow of “Love”.

Naturally · 8 May 2005, 5:14 pm · Keep it

I’m not much for isms or movements. But as long as we are going to have Creationists, Young-Earthers, and similar critters banding together to take over school boards and the like, we might as well have some card-carrying (or website-building) Naturalists to fight with them.
The One-Cent
The Center for Naturalism proposes “to foster the understanding that human beings and their behavior are fully caused, entirely natural phenomena, and that human flourishing is best achieved in the light of such understanding” and to draw the appropriate consequences. Daniel Dennett and Owen Flanagan are on the Advisory Board, so I suppose they think this is a good idea.
Not everything at the site is rigorously argued. For example, at “Applied Naturalism” we find Mark Hovland’s Complete Decision Finder, which “illustrates the principle that we make choices on the basis of weighted reasons, that is, on the basis of positive and negative factors that are rated according to their emotional significance—how strongly we feel about them”. You’re supposed to list all the pros and cons pertaining to some decision you will make, and weight each of them. Add up the weights for and the weights against, and there’s your decision: whichever side is weightier wins. In short: “Decisions are based upon your emotional response to your beliefs”.
This may be a good advice. But it proves nothing about free will. I will prove by similar means that all your decisions are random. I call it the Cheap Decision Finder. Here’s the procedure. Make your decision into a yes-no question. Flip a coin. If it turns up heads, do it. If it turns up tails, don’t. In short: “Decisions are based upon chance events”.

More than you want · 1 May 2005, 7:10 pm · Keep it

In the shower this morning, after a long train of thoughts not worth recording here, I arrived at a comparison between the sometimes small portions served in certain French restaurants and the gargantuan portions served in some American restaurants. It seemed to me that I preferred the American, or at least a moderate version of it. The way the thought expressed itself was: I want more than I want.
Rather than impute to my mental discourse more contradictions than are no doubt there, let’s suppose that pragmatics applies in foro interno (an interesting thought—if I’m talking to myself, why don’t I just say what I mean? can there be genuine irony in mental discourse?). ‘I want more than I want’ could have meant
(i) I want to be served more food than I want to eat.
Or (if I don’t know exactly how much I want)
(ii) I want to have the option of eating more than I want at the moment.
There is a puzzle here about whether I actually did mean one or the other. Perhaps they are reconstructions of a thought that had no precise content. But my interest here is the preferences implied by (i) and (ii).
Regarding (i), it may be that eating at a restaurant has something in common with potlatch, and that food is expected not only to be served but wasted. I expect and (in my role as diner) want that to occur.
Regarding (ii), I suppose this is an exercise in rational choice. I don’t know exactly how much will satisfy me. The best outcome is getting the very amount that will satisfy me. The next best is getting too much, and the worst is getting too little (on the supposition that I prefer that food be wasted to my going hungry).
The serving practices of restaurants no doubt have aspects of both potlatch and rational choice: the management wants to impress me and to ensure that I’m satisfied. On the other hand, it doesn’t want to use more food than will accomplish those ends. (Classy restaurants proceed on the convenient assumption that you will be insulted if you are given too much. “Super-sizing” is vulgar, partly because classy people don’t eat merely to satisfy their hunger.)
Which brings me to the real point. Telling kids to clean their plates is a bad idea.

Open access · 26 Apr 2005, 7:49 pm · Keep it

Open access to scholarship may become one of the key issues for academics in the next twenty years. More and more libraries have only electronic access to journals, especially in the sciences, as university systems (rather than individual institutions or—more archaically yet—department libraries) negotiate deals for hundreds of journals at once from outfits like Elsevier and Taylor & Francis. The paper version may never enter a library at all; rather, as in California, it is stored in a warehouse.
California: see the links in “Not better, just bigger” for details, especially Rob Kirby’s “Fleeced”, originally published in Notices of the AMS, Feb 2004, p181 (requires free registration).
Users have access only to the electronic version. Not only have prices increased greatly, but access to back numbers is controlled by the publisher, not the library (as is the case with bound print journals). Imagine what it would be like for all the back issues of the Journal of philosophy to become inaccessible: that could happen if the publisher of an entirely electronic journal goes out of business. (If the issues are protected by password, then archives won’t be able to store them.)
John Willinsky, Pacific Press Professor of Literacy and Technology at the University of British Columbia, has started the Public Knowledge Project, which includes
John Willinsky, The access principle: the case for open access to research and scholarship (MIT, 2005 · 0262232421) (the quotation below is from the website blurb).
software for open access journals (Open Journal Systems) and conferences (Open Conference Systems). The software is available for free. it produces a table of contents, an archive, a form for email notification of new issues, registration for contributors, and so on. Nicely done, although the HTML it produces is old-fashioned (it uses tables for layout, not CSS) and buggy (there are syntax errors in the output).
In his book, The Access Principle, Willinsky argues that
A commitment to scholarly work […] carries with it a responsibility to circulate that work as widely as possible: this is the access principle. In the digital age, that responsibility includes exploring new publishing technologies and economic models to improve access to scholarly work. Wide circulation adds value to published work; it is a significant aspect of its claim to be knowledge. The right to know and the right to be known are inextricably mixed.
I’m not sure I would state the commitment in just this way. “As widely as possible” is too strong. On the other hand, I do think scholars ought to consider the accessibility of their work in selecting venues for publication, with a bias toward accessibility to everyone with some minimal means of viewing online material. (See Pam Long’s Openness, secrecy, authorship, Johns Hopkins, 2001, 2004 (pb) · 0801880610, for a history of attitudes toward the accessibility of scientific knowledge in antiquity and the Renaissance.)
(Via Digital Koans, 20 Apr 2005.)

Images at the NYPL: Look but don’t touch · 24 Apr 2005, 3:51 pm

The New York Public Library has a digital gallery containing thousands of images. Historians of science will be most interested in the Nature and Science section. I haven’t included any thumbnails because their permissions statement seems to forbid my doing so. Not only that, but even if I bought licenses I’d have to remember to take down the images after the licenses expired.
New York Public Library, Photographic Services and Permissions, FAQ, User Fee Schedule
The Library justifies the fees ($30 and up per image for personal use, e.g. in the classroom; putting an image on this page would cost $75 for one year) on the grounds that the fees enable it to “acquire, preserve and provide access to the accumulated knowledge of the world”. It does cost money to do those things; user fees are one way to cover those costs. If the site didn’t exist, I would have to go to New York to see them. Shouldn’t I be glad I’m saving money?
Scholarship and the arts, however, depend on more than looking: the scholar must be able to quote or exhibit the items written about, at least in part; artists have long been accustomed to incorporating material from other works into their own. Dozens of masses were composed on the melody “L’Homme armé” during the Renaissance. The Dadaists incorporated bits of newspaper and advertising into their works, as did Pop artists forty years later. Some of those uses could, in principle, be defended, but the mere fact that copyright owners might sue may be enough to discourage artists (or the corporations that publish their work) from doing what would otherwise come naturally. (A Cincinnati court ruled last year that even a three-note sample, pitch-shifted and looped so as to be unrecognizable, violates copyright: see the Billboard and Stay Free! items below.)
“Digital rights management”, as it’s called, and intellectual property protection generally have become more and more restrictive, and at times unworkable—effectively making artworks unpublishable. In an earlier post, “Real-World Æsthetics”, I noted that the motivation is not “nurturing artists” or any real concern for the arts. It’s money. Money and control.
Downhill Battle, Eyes on the Screen organized private screenings of Eyes on the Prize on 5 Feb this year
An example: Eyes on the Prize, an important documentary on the civil rights movement, cannot be exhibited because the images and clips in the film are entangled in restrictions. Including a scene in which people sing “Happy Birthday” requires permission and payment of fees to the copyright holders. It is estimated that obtaining all the clearances needed to broadcast the film will cost $500,000. Broadcasts in general demand indemnification against copyright violations before they will broadcast a work; it’s the creator’s problem to establish that permissions have been obtained and fees paid.
Aalok Mehta, “ACS Takes Legal Action Against Google”, Chemical & Engineering News, 10 Dec 2004
You’re not a filmmaker? You’re just a philosopher who depends only on introspection? Then how about this: the American Chemical Society is suing Google on the grounds that Google’s use of the word ‘scholar’ infringes on trademarks owned by the ACS in connection with “SciFinder Scholar”, a search engine for Chemical Abstracts databases.
“The field of scientific research and related services is, of course, open to all,” said Flint Lewis, ACS’s secretary and general counsel […]. “But when someone uses a trademark similar to ours, we have no choice but to take action—to protect the goodwill that we have built over the years and to prevent the likelihood of confusion in the marketplace.”
So much for disinterest. Of the many ironies here, one is that scientists themselves have begun to subvert the present system of academic publishing, in which a few companies (Elsevier, for example) now own most of the major scholarly journals in the world, and have charged increasingly exorbitant prices for them. Libraries must devote more and more of their funds to serials. Monographs bear the brunt of the cost-cutting. You may say: won’t the Internet take distribution out of the hands of the oligopolies? Only if its autonomy is protected (so that anyone may, at small expense, publish and be accessible to everyone), and only if electronic journals distributed for free or at low cost are treated on a par with print journals in tenure decisions and the like.
Of interest
LEONARD, Andrew. “Eyes on your copyrighted prize”. Salon 5 Jan 2005 (this may be for subscribers only).
DEAN, Katie. “Bleary days for eyes on the prize”. Wired 22 Dec 2004.
Arts Project, Duke Law School. —Includes video excerpts from a panel on intellectual property and the arts.
Reclaim the Media has a running list of news on copyright issues.
Negativland, a well-known group of musicians whose work relies on sampling (and who have had to go to court to protect their fair use rights) has a subsite on intellectual property.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation tracks issues in intellectual property and digital rights management.
DocBug (Bradley Rhodes).
Copyfight is the IP portion of Corante, a collaborative weblog on technology. I wish they’d get rid of the stupid blinks.
JECKELL, Barry A. “Court To Hip-Hop Nation: No Free Samples”. Billboard 8 Sep 2004.
McLEOD, Kembrew. “How Copyright Law Changed Hip Hop/An interview with Public Enemy's Chuck D and Hank Shocklee”. Stay Free! 1 June 2004. Also at Alternet.

Dear Mr. Matisse: On behalf of our client we must inform you that PMS 185 is a trademark of… · 11 Apr 2005, 7:51 pm · Keep it

Under corporate capitalism even abstract objects can be exploited and used up. Colors, for example. Because color can be “a powerful and effective tool for creating brand identification”,
Visual Expert, “Color in Trademark and Tradedress Disputes
companies have gone to court to defend their colors against infringement. In Qualitex Co. v. Jacobson Products Co. (1995), the Supreme Court ruled that a single color could, under the right circumstances, qualify as a trademark.
Gesmer Updegrove, “Single Color can now Qualify for Trademark Protection”, August 1995
The Court dismissed arguments that the trademarking of single colors would lead to “color depletion”:
Most interesting, in our view, was the argument that since colors are in limited supply, allowing companies to appropriate colors will soon lead to the “depletion” of all of the attractive colors in each product line. The Supreme Court’s response to this argument was that if the use of a color related to the “functionality” of a product, it could not be trademarked. Examples were black outboard motors (on the theory that black motors appear smaller than motors in other colors) and blue fertilizer (indicating the presence of nitrogen).
It seems to us that the Supreme Court’s response to the argument of “color depletion” was something of a non sequitur. Even assuming that the “functionality” rule is applied liberally in this context, there is still a risk that attractive colors may be seized by early adopters, forcing companies later entering the market to chose a less attractive color and putting them at a competitive disadvantage.
Jennifer D. Silverman, “Trademark Protection for Color: Basking in the Warmth of ‘Sun Glow’”, Touro Law Rev. 12.1
Most interesting in our view is that shades of color, even the very specific Pantone shades often used in “branding”
(see, for example, the Brand Standards Manual for the University of Memphis and the Color Guide for the University of Cincinnati) are usually regarded as abstracta, at least by those who acknowledge the existence of such entitities at all (but if not, just what are the Color Guides talking about?). “Color depletion” would be the exhaustion of an eminently nonrenewable resource.

More IP Dumbness · 6 Apr 2005, 12:51 am · Keep it

[Note: ‘IP’ is intellectual property; ‘DRM’ is digital rights management.] At Pattern Recognition: an example of corporate idiocy in full bloom. The following is the rights statement for an e-book:
Adsorption: Theory, Modeling, and Analysis. By: Jozsef Toth
File Size: 6825KB
Published: 05/10/2002
E-ISBN: 0824744497

DRM Rights:
Copy 25 selections every 1 day(s)
Print 25 pages every 1 day(s)
Reading aloud allowed
Book expires 150 day(s) after download
Note that Adobe eBooks cannot be shared.
Note the implication. If the publisher of this book hadn’t bestowed on you the “right” to read the work aloud,
you would be forbidden to do so on pain of infringement.
What I’m picturing is some amibitious jerk lawyer at a meeting on DRM suddenly thinking: “They can’t copy it in their computer; they can’t print it; how else could they steal it? Oh my God, they could read it aloud into a recorder and steal the whole thing that way!” For the moment, cooler heads have prevailed. But just you wait. Having a tongue will soon be a criminal offense.

Topmodel Reco · 5 Apr 2005, 12:19 am · Keep it

Dialector: a lexicon of business words of English origin now current in France. Je le dirais anxiogène pour l’Académie. Sample:
Killer-idea : [kilœrajdi] n. f.
Littéralement « idée qui tue ». Donc formidable. NB: « Killer » peut être utilisé à volonté avec tout type de mots : « killer-insight  », « killer-concept », « killer-brief » …
Exemple : « S’il ne pleut pas on peut faire un pique nique à Fontainebleau, vous en pensez quoi?
- T’as toujours des killer-ideas maman!  »
As a rule, I dislike sites done completely in Flash. But this is so beautifully done it disarms my objections.
Source: Dialector

How to tell you’re not Catholic · 4 Apr 2005, 10:42 pm · Keep it

When I saw the following headline, I immediately thought of Alexander Pope. Turns out it’s about the Holy Father. Requiescat in pacem.
A Run On Pope Books
Publishers and book stores are bracing for a run on books about Pope John Paul II. “Sales of books by and about Pope John Paul II have soared since his death Saturday, with several quickly reaching the top 20 of Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com.”
ArtsJournal 4 Apr 2005
Yahoo (Hillel Italie, AP 3 Apr 2005)

1000 Views of London · 1 Apr 2005, 9:04 pm · Keep it

Each week The Way We See It asks people to send in pictures of a designated spot in London. Past spots include Craven Passage, Brydges Place (“the narrowest alley in London”), and St. James’s Church in Piccadilly. Via Frizzy Logic.

Excentricités du langage · 30 Mar 2005, 8:52 pm

Les Excentricités du langage by Lorédan Larchey (4th ed. 1862, 5th 1865, 6th 1872) is a dictionary of unusual words and unusual uses of words. Among the Gs, for example, we find “GAMBILLER : Danser” and “GIROUETTE : Homme politique dont les opinions changent selon le vent de la fortune.”. The latter remains in demand as much as ever.
The Association des Bibliophiles Universels, which has put Larchey’s work online, is hosted by the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers. It includes a collection of texts for which you can generate lists of frequency and lists of occurrences of a particular word. Also part of CNAM is the Conservatoire Numérique des Arts et Métiers, with a small collection of scientific texts. The emphasis seems to be on texts about electricity, but it also includes Salomon de Caus’s Raisons des forces mouvantes and Agostino Ramelli’s Diverse et artificiose machine.

If I were filthy rich… · 8 Mar 2005, 6:02 pm · Keep it

I’d buy a scanning electron microscope.* The image here, from a collection at the Museum of Science in Boston, shows a staple piercing a piece of paper: micro-violence in suspension.
The first electron microscope, constructed by Max Knoll and Ernst Ruska (in 1931 according to Ruska’s Nobel Prize Lecture (pdf); see also his autobiography), produced images using electrons transmitted through the specimen. Such microscopes, now capable of very high resolution, are called transmission electron microscopes. Scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) use either back-scattered or secondary electrons to produce images. The theory of the SEM was developed by Manfred von Ardenne in the late 30s; von Ardenne built an SEM or an STEM, a “scanning transmission electron microscope”) but published no images. Vladimir Zworykin, one of the inventors of television, and his student James Hillier built an SEM and published images made with it in 1942. The inferior resolution of the SEM led researchers to concentrate on the transmission EM until Charles Oatley at Cambridge decided that the technology was sound and proposed that his student Dennis McMullan should build an SEM; the result was a high-energy scanning microscope that detected backscattered electrons. Further improvements by K. C. A. Smith yielded an instrument which could “produce images comparable with those from modern microscopes” (McMullan 1993). The first commercial instruments were sold by Cambridge Scientific Instruments in 1965.
What’s instructive for philosophers in this history is the weaving together of what had been remarkable scientific achievements into an artifact whose principles of construction are so well-known, and whose operations are so reliable, that it can be mass-produced and used routinely for observation and quality control. The production of electrons from a cathode was discovered by J. J. Thomson (who also made the first “detectors” and showed that the particles emitted by the cathode were deflected by magnets); back-scattering was discovered by Ernest Rutherford, Hans Geiger, and E. Marsden; Ruska’s work developed out of the development of cathode-ray oscilloscopes under the tutelage of Max Knoll; the now standard Everhart-Thornley detectors, first constructed in 1956, required the development of efficient scintillators and photomultipliers capable of gathering enough secondary electrons for the production of images. The idea of scanning itself goes back to Alexander Bain, who in 1843 patented the first fax machine.
All this was brought together in 1965 by R. F. W. Pease and W. C. Nixon in the SEM V, whose design was used in the first commercial instrument (see Sampson 1996 and McMullan’s history). The participants themselves note that the development of the instrument was not straightforward. Oatley, for example, recognized that the new electron multiplier built by A. S. Baxter at Cavendish Labs would make it possible to measure secondary electron currents in the SEM—not knowing that von Ardenne had made a similar proposal. Against the advice of experts, he assigned Ph. D. students to the task of building an improved SEM; Dennis McMullan completed building the first, SEM1, in 1951. A decision was made to continue, even though many microscopists “believed that this new instrument could never compete with the well-established electron microscopical techniques of the time; in particular, with the replica technique which offered much superior resolution” (Smith 1997, online version p2); nevertheless the SEM promised many advantages, including “ease of specimen preparation, large depth of field, readily interpreted images, and great flexibility in the size and type of specimen that could be examined” (ib.). But only when technical difficulties in the use of the electron multipliers were overcome by Everhart and Thornley in 1955–1956 did the SEM advance from being a research project to become a research tool.
It was during this period, moreover, that the theory of the instrument—in particular, of mechanisms in backscatter, variations in the secondary output caused by differences in atomic number, and the reflection of electrons from solids (McMullan 1948, O. C. Wells 1957, Everhart 1958)—was developed further, so as to allow the data to be interpreted. Indeed it is not always clear in this period (at least to me) what should be called an application of the SEM to the study of something else and what should be called an investigation of the phenomena themselves that the SEM produces. The first photograph above is clearly an application; the second, whose label says that it is an image showing “electron channel contrast”—which is to say, an aspect of the phenomenon of scattering—, hovers somewhere between being a use of a scanning beam to form an image (though clearly this is what Knoll was after) and a study of its reflection. The eye tells us both about light and the things that reflect light; most often we ignore the light itself, but sometimes—when the afternoon sun slants into a room—we realize that light itself is an object of vision, and not just a medium. Then you may begin to wonder: am I seeing things or just the light affected by them? If that or is taken to be exclusive, the well-worn path opens to either a unwarrantable realism or an implausible idealism. Perhaps instead—as the SEM story suggests—the answer is both.
*How filthy? The cheapest instrument I came across in a cursory search was $6500 “as is”. You can lease a new Jeol JSM-6060LV low-vacuum SEM for just $2000 a month, minimum 5 years, at the end of which you can buy it for $1. A used Amray 1860 FE Field Emission SEM Electron Microscope is $29,000, which is about the price of a Lexus.
NB. References to printed sources are taken from McMullan 1995 and Smith 1997. My thoughts at the end of this post are of course not unaffected by the reading of authors like Latour, Pickering, and Aristotle.
BRETON, Bernie C. “The Early History and Development of The Scanning Electron Microscope”, 1986.
David Sarnoff Library. “Electron Microscopy”. s.d. [2002?] Includes a collection of images.
INDARES, Aphrodite. “EPMA Course Notes, ch. 1”. Earth Sciences, Memorial University of Newfoundland, s.d.
KNOLL, M. “Aufladepotentiel und Sekundäremission elektronenbestrahlter Körper”. Z. tech. Phys. 16(1935): 467–475.
McMULLAN, Dennis. “Scanning electron microscopy, 1928–1965”. Scanning 17 (1995): 175–185. Online version. See also the brief biography of Oatley by K. C. A Smith listed below, and a bibliography of work at Cambridge.
McMULLAN, Dennis. “Von Ardenne and the scanning electron microscope”. Proc. Royal Microsc. Soc. 23 (1988): 283–288.
McMULLAN, Dennis. “The prehistory of scanned image microscopy Part 1: scanned optical microscopes”. Proc. Royal Microsc. Soc. 25(1990): 127–131.
OATLEY, Charles W., D. McMullan, and K. C. A. Smith. “The development of the scanning electron microscope”. In: P. W. Hawkes, ed., The beginnings of electron microscopy, Advances in electronics and electron physics Suppl. 16 (London: Academic Press, 1985): 443–482.
von ARDENNE, Manfred. “On the history of scanning electron microscopy, of the electron microprobe, and of early contributions to transmission electron microscopy”. title. In: P. W. Hawkes, ed., The beginnings of electron microscopy, Advances in electronics and electron physics Suppl. 16 (London: Academic Press, 1985): 1–21.
RUSKA, Ernst. “Autobiography”, nobelprize.org, Physics, 1986.
SAMPSON, Allen R. “Scanning Electron Microscopy”. Advanced Research Systems, 1996.
SMITH, K. C. A. “Charles Oatley: Pioneer of scanning electron microscopy”. In: J M Rodenburg, ed., Electron Microscopy and Analysis 1997: Proceedings of the Institute of Physics Electron Microscopy and Analysis Group Conference, University of Cambridge, 2–5 September 1997. Institute of Physics Publishing, 1997. (Institute of Physics Conference Series 153). Online version.

The Philosopher peeped at her sideways… · 8 Mar 2005, 12:08 am · Keep it

Marie Corelli’s Love—and the philosopher, published in 1923, pits the “Philosopher”, an apparent cynic imbued with fin-de-siècle pessimism, against the “Sentimentalist”, the bright, young, pretty daughter of a wealthy old man with whom the Philosopher is collaborating on a book about the deterioration of language. Romance is the terminus ad quem. But who attains it? From the foreword:
The following story is of the simplest character, purposely so designed. It has no “abnormal” or “neurotic” episodes; no “problems”
and no “psycho-analysis”. Its “sentiment” is of an ordinary, every-day type, common to quiet English homes where the “sensational” press find no admittance, and where a girl may live her life as innocent of evil as a rose;—where even the most selfish of cynical “philosophers” may gradually evolve something better than self. There are no “thrills”, no “brain storms”, no “doubtful moralities”—no unnatural overstrained “emotionalisms” whatever.
See Philosophical Fortnights for more.

A counter-revolution in the making · 5 Mar 2005, 7:35 pm · Keep it

At the “The non-moving Earth & anti-evolution web page…”, we learn of
A Scientific Battering-Ram That Can
Help Greatly In Bringing Down
Copernicanism And The False Science
Of Evolutionism That Is Built On It
This battering-ram can be found at Geocentric Universe. There we learn that although “many who view this site will only be interested in juvenile scoffing (as the apostle Peter informs us in 2 Pet. 3:3-7)”, the truth will out.
The World is firmly established, it cannot be moved. The World does not rotate on an ‘axis’. It does not orbit the Sun. The universe is not 12–20 billion years old, nor is it infinitely large. It is approximately 6,000 years old. The Noachian Flood took place about 4,500 years ago. There is no other world but this one. There is no life on Mars, or Titan, or anywhere else. Nothing has ever evolved in the organic sense. Every atom, every subatomic particle was created by God. Nothing would exist if not for Him.
In case you too are inclined to scoff, it’s worth remembering that Young-Earth Creationism, if not always of the geocentric variety, is part of many Christian curricula, and at least one university curriculum. It’s no joke.

IP gone wild · 3 Mar 2005, 11:50 pm · Keep it

Will Shetterly at It’s all one thing shows what will happen if the protection of intellectual property and the extension of copyright continue their recent trend. See “The People Who Owned the Bible”. The only quibble I would have is that McDonald’s would almost certainly grab the rights to Macbeth. On the other hand, one unintended but welcome consequence would be that people who quote the Bible on behalf of the Republicans would have to pay for the privilege. Excerpt:
It was time for another Mickey Mouse Copyright Extension to keep Disney’s star property out of the public domain. Somebody’s nephew had a bright idea. Instead of telling Congress to add the standard twenty years to the length of copyright, why not go for the big time? Extend copyright by 500 years.
Somebody’s niece added a smarter reason: A 500 year extension would let Disney track down Shakespeare’s heirs and buy all rights to the Bard. No matter how much the heirs wanted, the deal would pay for itself in no time.

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